Before we became yoga teachers, we were once and still students of yoga.
I am sharing some insight from some inspirational yoga teachers I've met over the years. I hope their stories will inspire and motivate you in your yoga practice.
This week I am highlighting ……. Vanessa Lherisson @Vmerieyoga
Founder and Creative Director of @Blackgirlyoga (on IG and Facebook)
SFCY: Tell us a little bit about yourself :)
Vanessa: Hi. My name is Vanessa Lherisson. A mom, a wife, and I practice yoga. I am the founder and creative director behind BlackGirlYoga, a community that was organically created back in 2013 as a way to connect to other women who represented a black woman on her yoga journey. Eventually, this led to something much much greater. It now serves as a place you can find community, encourage visibility, and look for inspiration. We not only have a home on Instagram but now on Facebook as well and have recently added ambassadors to the team whose goal is to spread the BlackGirlYoga mission. It is truly remarkable to see more black women embracing this practice. It means that our mission is continuing to move forward.
SFCY: How did you get introduced to yoga and when did yoga get serious?
Vanessa: My husband introduced me to yoga which is funny because he doesn’t practice at the moment. He had a class in college that he loved and when we dated we would go to the yoga class at the gym together. It sparked my interest then but I didn’t become really serious until a few years later.
SFCY: Can you share the biggest challenges you face as a yoga teacher?
Vanessa: My biggest challenge with practicing yoga is making time to come to the mat each and every day even if my physical practice is just for a few minutes in meditation. Self-care is so important.
SFCY: Where do you find your motivation to keep teaching?
Vanessa: I am motivated each day by my own self-determination to be better than I was the day before in my actions, thoughts, and my physical practice. Realizing that I am forever a work in progress.
SFCY: What was your most embarrassing moment teaching a yoga class?
Vanessa: To be perfectly honest I don’t think I’ve ever had an embarrassing moment. My mindset in regards to practicing yoga is that you are allowed to make mistakes, you are allowed to not have it all right. I like to say yoga is life being played out on the mat. We come to the mat with no expectations. We may fall, we may stumble, we may lose our way but we can always come back to the breath. The breath will bring you back to the center. The breath will allow us to accept wherever we are in our journey embracing ourselves with all our flaws and imperfections. Being embarrassed in your practice never. Learning to accept yourself as you are. Yes.
SFCY: How did yoga influence your life beyond teaching?
Vanessa: Going back to the previous question. Yoga is life on the mat. Whatever obstacles we face in life we can always find something within us that keeps us moving. Personally, since I’ve brought yoga into my life I’ve become better at dealing with tough situations and not allowing negative energy into my space. I’m still human as I am capable of still feeling every emotion out there but I’ve learned better how to handle the negative ones. I feel I am always being tested but I have the tools now to cope which allows me to breathe through it all.
SFCY: What does your typical day look like?
Vanessa: I feel like I am always on the go. My alarm is set to 5 am every day even on the weekends. When I am not doing yoga, I work in the investment services industry Monday through Friday which can be super stressful at times but rewarding. While on the train to work, I check my emails and messages and catch up on reading. After work, I catch up with my family, check more messages and do follow-ups. I live for my weekends when I can slow down a bit. I teach yoga on weekends and look forward to connecting with my students. Teaching yoga for me is just as rewarding for me as doing my own practice.
SFCY: What type of yoga classes do you offer?
Vanessa: I enjoy vinyasa styles of yoga as well as yin yoga. I trained in both. I Teach both yin yoga and vinyasa.
SFCY: Who inspires you?
Vanessa: The people I connect with on a regular basis.
SFCY: What are your future plans/goals/dreams for your yoga teaching business? Vanessa: To continue to grow and learn more in yoga. I don’t bring any expectations to my mat with my own practice. I take it one day at a time.
SFCY: Anything else you wish to add?
Vanessa: Yoga has taught me to find that inner voice enabling me to express myself more and to be a yes for myself. I find myself saying yes to things that might make me a little uncomfortable but would help me to grow as a person. Thanks so much for having me!
SFCY: How can people get in touch with you? Website? Social Media?
Vanessa: You can follow my journey on ...
Learn More about Vanessa:
Vanessa Lherisson is a Certified Yoga instructor and founder of the BlackGirlYoga (found on Instagram and Facebook) Community. Her yoga classes will enable you to reach your utmost potential in an upbeat inclusive atmosphere while connecting mind, body, and soul. Click here to learn more about Vanessa Lherisson.
Now you can listen to our interview on iTunes, Google Podcast, Spotify and more...
About the Author:
Kenya Marsh is the founder of SimplyFitandCurvyYoga (SFCY), Course Creator for Elevated Yogi Academy, and Host of "From My Mat to Yours Podcast." As a wife, stay-at-home mom of two, and yoga teacher. Kenya knows how challenging and beneficial a steady yoga practice can be. She understands it can be hard to start a new yoga journey alone. She created this website, along with courses, books, and more materials to help provide support to busy yogis elevate their yoga practice.